Nothing ruins your day quite like a toothache. This often sudden, raging pain can make going about your daily life almost impossible. Eating, speaking, and even smiling can result in a jolt of pain shooting through your mouth. If you have a serious toothache like this, your first order of business should be to contact your dentist for treatment. In the meantime, here are six home remedies you can use.
1. Saltwater Rinse
Saltwater is a great line of defense against stubborn tooth pain. Mix half a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and use it as a mouthwash. This can loosen food particles that may be stuck in between your teeth and causing your discomfort. Saltwater can also help reduce inflammation and even heal minor oral wounds.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse
Hydrogen peroxide might help reduce pain as well as inflammation. Besides killing bacteria, hydrogen peroxide can heal bleeding gums and reduce the amount of harmful plaque in your mouth. Mix 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water to dilute it and rinse your mouth out with it. Be careful not to swallow.
3. Cold Compress
When you hold a cold compress to the outside of your mouth, it constricts the blood vessels in the area, which significantly lessens pain. The cold can also reduce inflammation and swelling. Hold a bag of ice wrapped in a towel to your face for 20 minutes at a time. You can repeat this approach every few hours.
Garlic has been recognized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. It can kill harmful bacteria in plaque as well as act as a pain reliever. If you have a clove of garlic on hand, crush it to form a paste and apply it to the hurting area. Alternatively, you could slowly chew a clove of garlic, if you can stand the taste.
5. Vanilla Extract
This compound contains alcohol, which may help to numb the pain. Dab a small amount onto your clean finger or a cotton swab and apply it directly to the affected area a few times a day.
6. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
Ibuprofen in particular is quite effective at remedying oral pain. Take your pick of store-bought painkillers and take them as directed on the bottle. Just be sure to not apply aspirin directly to the area, as it could irritate the gum tissue and ultimately worsen your pain.
If you have a toothache that doesn’t subside with any of these home remedies, you should contact your dentist right away. Only they can provide an accurate diagnosis of what’s wrong and suggest treatments to alleviate your discomfort.
About the Author
Dr. Hube Parker graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry in 1993 and has practiced in Mobile, AL for more than 25 years. In addition to practicing privately, he is also a part-time instructor at the UMC School of Dentistry in the Department of Endodontics, or root canals. Since root canals are more often than not used to treat severe toothaches, he can help you get out of pain quickly. If you have a toothache that doesn’t seem to go away, contact Dr. Parker’s practice by clicking here.